Ivy League calls off sports until at least Jan. 1, wiping out UND's marquee hockey series at Cornell

North Dakota's Brett Hextall (26) battles Cornell University's Evan Barlow (left) and Riley Nash (right) for the puck in the second period of Friday Nov. 28, 2008 in Grand Forks. Herald photo by John Stennes.
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It, perhaps, would have been the marquee college hockey nonconference series of the season.

UND, which finished No. 1 in the Pairwise last season, and Cornell, which finished No. 1 in the voter polls, were scheduled to play each other in a two-game series Oct. 30-31 in Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. Considering both teams will have the bulk of their rosters back, there's a chance they could start the season ranked No. 1 and 2 nationally.

But that series won't be happening as scheduled.

The Ivy Leagues will be canceling all fall sports and calling off all other sports until at least Jan. 1, according to reports by CBS Sports, The Athletic and Yahoo Sports.

That impacts six hockey-playing Ivy schools -- Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown and Yale.


In 2017, UND signed a deal with Cornell to play one series in Ithaca and one in Grand Forks. The teams were scheduled to play in Ithaca this season and in Grand Forks next season, Jan. 7-8, 2022.

The contract calls for a $75,000 buyout if either team pulls out of the series, however, there is a clause to cover schools in the case of something like the coronavirus pandemic.

The clause reads: "UND and CU recognize that exigencies beyond the control of either party, such as Acts of God, Acts of Common Enemy, civil disorders, or orders of military or public authority, may render it impossible or highly undesirable to play one or both of the games agreed to hereunder, in which event or events the game(s) shall be canceled or rescheduled as such exigencies may dictate or permit and the liquidated damages in Section 8 above shall not apply."

It is unclear if or when the Cornell series will be made up.

Cornell has one North Dakotan on its roster in former Fargo Davies defenseman Cody Haiskanen, a senior.

It marks the first known change in UND's 2020-21 men's hockey schedule.

Other potential schedule changes

UND and Ralph Engelstad Arena also are expected to issue an update by July 17 on UND's Hall of Fame Game scheduled against Penn State in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. That game is slated for Oct. 17, two weeks before the Fighting Hawks were set to go to Cornell.

Ralph Engelstad Arena general manager Jody Hodgson said in a release last month that UND will not play the game if 100 percent attendance is not allowed. It would leave open the possibility that Penn State comes to Grand Forks instead of Nashville, though.


Another game that appears up in the air is the preseason exhibition against Manitoba.

Numerous Canadian universities are canceling their exhibition trips to the United States. As of last month, Manitoba coach Mike Sirant told the Herald he's still planning on bringing his team to Grand Forks, but acknowledged they'll continue keeping an eye on the coronavirus situation and guidelines from the state of North Dakota and province of Manitoba.

UND's regular-season opener is scheduled for Oct. 9-10 against Bemidji State. The series opener is scheduled to be played in Bemidji's Sanford Center. The series finale is slated for Ralph Engelstad Arena.

UND's other nonconference series are scheduled for Oct. 23-24 vs. Minnesota, Nov. 27-28 vs. Niagara and Jan. 2-3 vs. Northern Michigan.

While awaiting word on how the 2020-21 season may play out, most Fighting Hawks players have returned to Grand Forks for the summer and even played an informal pickup scrimmage Tuesday .

UND hockey
Jason Gregoire (17) fights for position in front of teh Cornell net in the first period Saturday night. Herald photo by John Stennes.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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